A friend of mine is an Islamic school teacher in the US. She teaches high school students. Her main message to me in a conversation I had with her yesterday was: young Muslims are struggling with the LGBT issue at alarmingly high rates. We better do something about it as a community, as parents, as imams.
She reported that kids are watching all sorts of shows and movies and playing popular video games that are riddled with LGBT characters and themes. There is one particular anime show that most of the Muslim students at her school are watching at home and talking about at school, and it features LGBT stuff.
The natural extension of that is behavior. Our behavior in daily life generally tends to reflect the kind of content we consume on a screen. So it’s common even at Islamic schools these days for there to be “lesbian” female students who are known as “a couple,” both wearing the hijab. Students and teachers all know that these two Muslim high school girls are “seeing each other” or “dating.” It’s generally left alone and not addressed.
One day, a Muslim male teacher told the Muslim students in his classroom that gay acts are not Islamic.
Seems pretty basic Islamic knowledge, right?
The students had a fit.
These were all Muslim kids in the age range of 15 and 16 years old. They have Muslim parents who are ostensibly practicing and who send their kids to Islamic school.
These kids, after hearing their Muslim teacher tell them the correct Islamic position on LGBT acts, started yelling at him and hurling at him all kinds of cliche western liberal labels: “Homophobe! Transphobe! Bigot!”
The class got out of hand. One 16-year-old Muslim male student got so angry and so confrontational with the teacher that the Islamic school had to expel him over his aggression during this incident.
The female teacher who recounted this story to me had tears in her eyes.
What have we come to collectively as a Muslim community?
What will be the future if our young men and women have been so thoroughly brainwashed by the mainstream liberal secular culture?
Where have our own orthodox Islamic values and principles gone?
I recalled the ayah in Surat Ali `Imran:
كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ آمَنَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم ۚ مِّنْهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.” (Surat Ali `Imran, 110)
But is that what we’ve done? Have we tried to be an example for other communities by commanding the good and forbidding the evil and believing in Allah?
Or have we just blindly joined them in their defiant disobedience?
Does this ayah describe us now, or instead does this hadith apply to our current state?
عن أبي سعيد رضي الله عنه، أنَّ النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: “لَتَتَّبِعُنَّ سَنَنَ مَنْ قَبْلَكُم شِبْرًا بشبْر، وذراعًا بذراع، حتَّى لو سَلَكُوا جُحْر ضَبٍّ لَسَلَكْتُمُوهُ.”
قلنا: “يا رسول الله، اليهودُ والنَّصارى؟”
قال النَّبيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: “فَمَن؟”
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, you will follow the path of those before you, step by step and inch by inch; if they entered the hole of a lizard, you would follow.” We said, “O Messenger of Allah, do you mean the Jews and Christians?” The Prophet said, “Who else?”
Are we Muslims setting an example for other communities to follow, or are they setting an example that we are following?
By: Umm Khalid